Mom, I have cancer. OK, I don’t have cancer. I have a blog. And I’m still gay.
I’m in the closet – again.
And something tells me that coming out as a blogger to my family might be much more awkward and traumatic than telling them I’m bisexual.
When I started “Alone … with cats,” although I confessed to seeking a book deal and dates, I’ve secretly been gunning for critical acclaim, a marriage to a rock star and world domination. Until I achieved at least one of those five milestones, I saw no real reason to come clean with my parents about the blog, wherein I talk about my sex life or lack there of. I prefer to have them think of me as a wholly asexual being. Regular readers know that approximately 365 days out of the year I *am* a wholly asexual being. And now that I’ve built a blog around my frustratingly chaste existence, I owe it to readers to stay a spinster. In hindsight, I really didn’t think this through all that well.
But recently, there have been some stirrings abroad. First, Helen from New Zealand e-mailed me a photo of her pretty kitty. And then a few days later, in response to my rant about assy America ruining my chances of finding love and getting laid, Jo recommended I might fare better in Britain. Then The General piped in:
“Ah, Jo- you forget to mention the Scotland vs. England and Wales vs. everyone else as well as the north vs. south. Even if she lived here in Blighty, she might still have the same problem, if she lived in Hampshire and met someone who lived in Aberdeenshire!”
I don’t even know what that means, y’all.
(Times like this make me wish I could pull off saying “y’all,” y’all.)
What I do know is that, ready or not, the blog has indeed gone global and I prematurely may be forced out of the closet. This morning, I began embarking on an 18-hour, round-trip car ride to Asheville, N.C., with my mom, and I literally may be driven to divulge my secret life as a blogger to fill the endless, painstaking hours en route to our destination. Otherwise, our conversations will mimic our phone calls of late:
Mom: How are you, pumpkin?
Mom: What’s new?
Mom: Is everything all right?
Me: I’m fine.
Mom: What are you working on?
It’s as if I’m a brooding teen again. And that got me thinking, my life isn’t really that much different now than it was 15 years ago. In the mid-1990s, I took lame vacations with my parents, wasn’t dating anyone and stayed up late chatting with Elton John fans thrice my age from around the world on America Online. You probably wish you were me. In 2010, I’m taking a trip with my mom despite my better judgment, perpetually and woefully single and gabbing about my cats with strangers on Twitter. The only major difference? Whereas before I could wax poetic about my eternal love for an aging, flamboyant, bespectacled British sensation, now when I tweet about Teva and Isabel I’m truncated to 140 characters.
If my life were a movie, it would be “The Lion King.” Except I’m not a cartoon lion. And my uncle hasn’t killed my father by shoving him off a cliff into a herd of stampeding wildebeest. And I wasn’t born to be king, although that’s nothing a few invasive surgeries, hormone therapy and a marriage to a princess couldn’t fix. Otherwise, the similarities are uncanny. Like Simba, I tried to outrun my fate, but I’m finally learning to embrace my destiny as a queer, cat-lady blogger. Very Lion King-y, just with less savanna, more cyberspace and roughly the same number of cats. Next to the definition for “The Circle of Life” in the dictionary, you’ll probably find my picture. *If* there were an entry for “The Circle of Life” in the dictionary. There isn’t. But there should be. Because then my picture would be in the dictionary. I’m pretty sure that counts as a book deal.
If history repeats itself for my second coming-out, Mom will be in the driver’s seat barreling down a highway in rural Virginia at 75 m.p.h. During an uncomfortable lull in conversation, I’ll tell her in a hushed voice that I’m a blogger. She’ll keep her eyes on the road and be uncharacteristically silent, pensive. After a long pause, she’ll whisper, “Can I tell your father?” I’ll say, “No.”
And then she totally will, y’all.
(Huh. See what I mean? I just *cannot* say “y’all” convincingly.)
P.S. Because of travel plans, I will be vigilantly tweeting but likely not updating this site for the next week. I’ll be trapped in an SUV for several insufferable days with my early rising, chatty mother, who is high-strung, randomly befriends strangers and has a penchant for smooth-jazz music. This isn’t so much a vacation as it is a test of my patience, the middle-class equivalent of waterboarding and research for my scathing, tell-all memoir. Please stay tuned.